A Caribbean disturbance could mean a wet weekend for South Florida

Alex Harris, Devoun Cetoute
·2 min read

South Florida is in for a soaking this weekend, likely due to a disturbance near Grand Cayman Island that has a high chance of forming into a tropical depression soon.

The National Hurricane Center said the disturbance is likely headed northwest, toward western Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico, but warned that South Florida and the Keys should keep an eye on the system. As of Friday’s 8 p.m. update, forecasters gave it a 70% chance of strengthening over the weekend or next week.

“The system could move near western Cuba by Sunday and move slowly across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early next week,” forecasters said.

The National Weather Service’s Miami office said Friday, “If, when and where this disturbance would develop could bring different scenarios for South Florida. At this time, confidence in the forecast is low to speak of any other concerns besides rainfall.”

Miami-Dade remains under a flood watch through 8 p.m. on Sunday, and the weather service said the county could see 3 to 6 inches of rain over the weekend. The South Florida Water Management District is preparing by lowering canals and adjusting flood protection pumps and gates.

If the disturbance strengthens past a depression into a tropical storm or hurricane at any point, it would be called Zeta.

Hurricane Epsilon, which passed east of Bermuda on Thursday, picked up its pace Friday as it headed north at 13 mph with 80 mph winds, according to the 11 p.m. update.

The hurricane center said it’s expected to speed up even more in the next few days before transitioning into an extra-tropical cyclone.